Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Millwall

  • November 19, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton returned to winning ways, as goals in each half from Josh Vela and Tom Thorpe gave them a 2-0 victory over Millwall.

Wanderers opened the scoring inside 17 minutes at Macron Stadium, as Vela showed superb technique to volley past Jordan Archer from the edge of the box, before Thorpe doubled the advantage just before the hour when he powered home a header from a Jay Spearing corner.

The result means Phil Parkinson's side have completed a league double over the Lions, the club's first since April 2015, when they won 3-0 at Cardiff City, and they end the weekend occupying third-place in League One.

Phil Parkinson made three changes to the side that started at Peterborough United last Sunday, with Ben Alnwick and Derik Osede replacing the injured Mark Howard and David Wheater, while Jay Spearing returned from a spell on the sidelines in place of Thorpe, who dropped to the substitutes' bench.

With the captain's armband back under his watch, the first chance of the game fell the way of Spearing. After latching on to a square-ball from Zach Clough, Spearing took aim from 25 yards but dragged his effort wide of the target.

Sammy Ameobi was next to try his luck for the hosts, in similar circumstances to his goal at The Den in the reverse fixture, but this time he got his angles wrong and sliced an attempt into the stands.

Bolton were ahead on 17 minutes, however, as Vela broke the deadlock with his fourth goal of the campaign. After a shot from Spearing had been blocked, the ball fell kindly to the academy graduate, who got his technique spot-on to loop a volley into the top corner of Archer's net.

Wanderers thought they had doubled their lead soon after when Liam Trotter prodded home against his old club, but the assistant referee had raised his flag for an offside as he reacted quickest following a blocked attempt from Clough.

Mark Beevers, another player facing his ex-employers, came close on 35 minutes, cutting inside from the left before forcing Archer into a save at his near post, while Spearing came even closer in stoppage time by heading against the crossbar from a cross by Clough.

Bolton made one change as the players emerged for the start of the second period, as Thorpe returned in midfield in place of the seemingly injured Trotter.

If the hosts had dominated in the final third during the opening 45 minutes, it continued in much the same fashion in the early exchanges after the restart.

In fact, they had two chances to add to their lead inside the opening six minutes, as, first, Clough hooked the ball wide on the turn from a Spearing corner, before the skipper almost caught goalkeeper Archer napping with a free-kick that sailed inches over the bar.

Wanderers did get the goal their efforts deserved on 57 minutes though, as Thorpe stole a run on his marker and powered a header home as he gambled to get on the end of a corner from Spearing.

Ameobi tried to get in on the act from the next attack, forcing Archer into a save from 30 yards, and it wasn't until the final 10 minutes that another opportunity arose.

This time, in a rare venture into opposition territory, Millwall came close to reducing the deficit. Mahlon Romeo's cross from the right picked out Harry Smith inside the box, but his header flashed inches wide of Alnwick's left-hand post and behind.

Alnwick was alert to the danger again inside three added minutes for stoppages, racing off his line to deny Fred Onyedinma, as Bolton saw out the clock to record a comfortable win - their first in three outings.

Three points moves Parkinson's side above Bradford City and into 3rd in League One, ahead of Tuesday's fixture with relegation candidates Coventry City at the Macron.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor, Beevers, Osede, Wilson, Spearing, Vela, Trotter (Thorpe 46), Ameobi, Clough (Henry 75), Madine (Proctor 87)
Subs Not Used: Turner, Buxton, Moxey, Anderson
Booked: Trotter
Goals: Vela 17, Thorpe 57

Millwall: Archer, Romeo, Webster, Craig, Martin (Ferguson 79), O'Brien, Williams, Thompson (Butcher 84), Onyedinma, Smith, Gregory (Worrall 39)
Subs Not Used: King, Cummings, Mbulu, Abdou
Booked: Williams

Referee: Paul Tierney
Attendance: 13,110

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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